Secular Coalition Delighted at Growing Constituency of “Nones”

As the Religiously Unaffiliated Population Grows, So Must Recognition by America’s Elected Leaders

Washington, DC—The Secular Coalition for America expressed enthusiasm at news of the growing constituency of unaffiliated Americans. A Pew study released Tuesday found that religiously unaffiliated Americans—or “nones”—now make up nearly 23 percent of the population.

The study indicates a 41.6 percent increase in the number of “nones” –those who do not identify with any religion—since 2007. The share of self-identified atheists has nearly doubled in size since 2007, from 1.6 percent to 3.1 percent. Agnostics have grown from 2.4 percent to 4 percent.

“The study indicates that not only are the religiously unaffiliated a rapidly growing community, but the number of those who specifically identify as atheist or agnostic is increasing as well,” said Kelly Damerow, Interim Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The findings lend credence to the growth we’ve witnessed within our community as a whole.”

According to the report:

  • All major religion surveys find that the unaffiliated share of the U.S. population (the percentage of religious “nones”) is growing rapidly. 
  • From 2007-2014, the “nones” have risen from just over 15 percent to almost 23 percent of all U.S. adults.
  • The “nones” are comprised of: atheists (13 percent), agnostics (17 percent), and nothing in particular (69 percent).
  • Nearly one-in-five American adults (18 percent) were raised in a religion and are now unaffiliated, compared with just 4 percent who have moved in the other direction.
  • The unaffiliated make up a growing share of each generation, with about one third of older Millennials now identifying with no religion.
  • Among Millenials raised as "nones," two thirds remain unaffiliated as adults.
  • Atheists and agnostics now make up a larger portion of the unaffiliated, accounting for 31 percent of all religious “nones,” up from 25 percent in 2007.

“As our community continues to grow, we are also becoming increasingly organized as a political constituency,” Damerow said. “Forward thinking lawmakers who saw the writing on the wall have been working with us for years. It’s time for their colleagues to catch on.”

The Secular Coalition for America is the advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics and other nontheists. The Secular Coalition represents 17 voting member organizations, as well as more than 200 associate, endorsing and affiliated organizations, and 50 state chapters. Find out more about the Secular Coalition at www.secular.org.

 

 

CONTACT: Kelly Damerow, Interim Executive Director, at [email protected] or (202)299-1091 ext. 207

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